Scientists Find 3 New Species in ‘Lost World’

The Cape Melville Leaf-Tailed Gecko is the "strangest new species" one scientist says he's ever seen

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Conrad Hoskin / AFP / Getty Images

A new leaftail gecko in the Cape Melville mountain range, in northeastern Australia's Cape York Peninsula.

Still looking for that remote getaway for this Christmas break? Scientists on a joint expedition to the northern tip of Queensland in Australia may have the perfect recommendation.

The researchers discovered in March an isolated “lost world” in a mountain range on Cape York Peninsula, where they’ve identified at least three new vertebrate species, James Cook University announced Monday.

In the boulder-strewn rainforest, the researchers found a new skink (a type of lizard), a frog, and a “highly distinct” gecko up to eight inches long with big eyes adapted to the dark boulder fields.

“The Cape Melville Leaf-Tailed Gecko is the strangest new species to come across my desk in 26 years working as a professional herpetologist,” Patrick Couper, curator of reptiles and frogs at Queensland Museum, said in a statement.

The team, a joint expedition between James Cook University and National Geographic, will document the species in this month’s issues of Zootaza, a peer-reviewed journal for animal taxonomists.